Originally Posted by Duodenum
I have to admit, I liked the distinctive sound of Clancy's voice on those CBS broadcasts, and thought he and Tim Ryan made an enjoyable team. Have you read Corner Men: Great Boxing Trainers, by Ronald K. Fried? For me, that clinched my opinion that Eddie Futch was the sport's foremost strategist. (Larry Holmes has also stated that while Arcel was a superb cut man and corner man, Futch really knew his business.) This shouldn't be tremendously surprising. Although Arcel started much earlier in boxing than Futch, Ray was completely out of the sport for around 20 years, resulting in Futch surpassing him as the most experienced trainer in boxing history.
In Arcel's 1972 comeback with Peppermint Frazer, he brilliantly engineered Frazer's dethroning of Nicolino Locche. However, Ray was never able to produce a challenger to dethrone Joe Louis, going 0-15 against the Brown Bomber before Joe's comeback against Ezzard Charles. On the other hand, Futch is well known as Ali's nemesis (even more so, since Ali sometimes didn't listen to Dundee's advice), and Eddie was the architect of Mike Spinks's brilliant LH career. Nobody was able to beat Larry Holmes with Futch and Arcel in his corner, or even put Larry on the deck (Ritchie Giachetti was still his trainer for Shavers and Snipes). Larry has stated that his physical peak was achieved while working with Futch and Arcel, a key factor in my rating of peak Holmes in the all-time HW top three (along with peak Dempsey and peak Ali).
I think Clancy and Griffith really put each other in the IBHOF. For all the rounds Griffith fought, he didn't appear to sustain any noticable brain damage from boxing. (That came as a result of being mugged and beaten up, long after he retired.) Perhaps it made a difference that Clancy has a Masters in Phys Ed. (A remarkable level of education for a fight trainer.)
Although Foreman shortened up his punches under Clancy's tutelage, he did disregard the recommendation to acclimate to conditions in Puerto Rico. The idea of Futch strategizing for George against Ali is an intriguing thought (and one Muhammad might be very relieved to have never had materialize).
"Corner Men" and "In the Corner" are two must-haves. Especially the latter. I loved the treatment of Blackburn in it.
Do you remember what they called Arcel during the "bum of the month" days? The Meat Wagon. I found that hilarious and can picture poor Ray dragging Louis's latest victim across the mat with that eternal Q-Tip hanging of his lip. Arcel's record against Joe suggests more a problem of raw materials than expertise... Mickey Duff played Micky the Dunce against Hagler after all, but look at what he was up against!
As for Foreman, he stuck with Archie Moore during the early part of his comeback and I always thought that it was not the greatest match. Incidentally, I never thought highly of that crab defensive style. I don't think it worked well for Foreman, Norton, or even Moore himself. It inhibited the ability to counter quickly and was full of gaping holes.